Middle Class Traveler

Adventures of the Middle Class

Tag: Aaron Beaudry

A day in Stanley Park

This year we decided to do a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. If you have never been to Vancouver, you will be quite presently surprised. Our trip got off to a rocky start because of an airline mishap that should not have happened. I won’t bore you with those details on this post because that one deserves a post of its own!

We flew out of Toronto Pearson and landed at Vancouver International to begin the trip. Upon arrival we had rented a vehicle for our stay and since Vancouver wasn’t our only destination and considering we were about to embark in a road trip through the Rocky Mountains we decided to rent a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Actually that was a great choice so I give that a recommendation. We drove from the airport to our condo which was across the street from Stanley Park. This park is a major tourist destination in Vancouver and is beautiful. Vancouver is a great city and very walkable. While we were there I never took the car out once because to me the city didn’t seem like a very car friendly city, with all the bike lanes and such.

We spent 3 days in Vancouver before heading over to Whistler so we had plenty of time see and do some very exciting things. We started off by walking the entire Stanley Park and we got a pleasant surprise when we were almost done. For those of you who have never been to Stanley Park, there is an amazing public pool that is heated just near the end. This was great considering we had walked for about 3 hours.

After the public pool we decided to walk some nature trails and that lead us up to the aquarium. The aquarium here in Vancouver is relatively the same as the Ripley’s one in Toronto but it does have some outdoor scenery so even if you have been to the one in Toronto, this is a must do! After the aquarium we walked around some more and went to have a late lunch at one of the little restaurants on the pier. This was a nice little place and I would recommend. I will add some pics to show all that I we have done so don’t worry. lol

There is much more than a pool and aquarium though in Stanley Park so if you do go here I would recommend attending all or at least one of these destinations:
Sea Wall
trails
Pitch and Putt
Picnic Areas
Tennis Courts
Splash Pad
Totem Poles
and much, much more!!!!

This was just the beginning of our 12 day adventure from Vancouver to Edmonton. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to see much more about our travels. Little disclosure time… This blog post has affiliate links that if you click and use will help pay for the blog.

Great Travel Deals And Products For The New Year










As 2016 comes to an end I thought I’d throw up some great travel deals and products to get your year started off on the right foot. To celebrate the new year I will include some of the best deals on products and travel destinations. Have you thought about going to the Atlantis or a Sandals Resort? Now don’t look further.

Over the past year I have traveled to some very beautiful destinations but the one that stood out far above the others is our time at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. You can read about that incredible destination here. Now if you are looking for a great vacation to the Bahamas with family or couples this place is ideal. Below are some really spectacular links you can take advantage of if you choose.

Reserve Ahora y Ahorre – Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas

Warm up this Winter – Save up to 55% off nighty rates PLUS up to a $450 resort credit & Kids Eat Free! Book by January 31st.

One of the most beautiful resorts I have ever wanted to stay at was the Sandals Resorts. These resorts from what I hear are some of the most luxurious resorts on the planet. For people who work hard and want to enjoy some time in a very friendly atmosphere they may be perfect for you.

Save up to 55% at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort

Save up 65% + Receive an Instant Air Credit of up to $1,000 At Sandals Resorts.

One of the best things I’ve ever done is travel to Las Vegas. I have been going there regularly for over a decade now. The first time I graced Vegas was in a motor home but the first time I went with a friend we stayed at the Flamingo. Like I said, I have been going for over a decade and I have stayed in numerous locations. Most recently I stayed at the Bellagio but I’ve also stayed at the Venetian, Ceasers Palace, Golden Nugget and hopefully one day soon I’ll be at the Wynne. I wrote a couple of blogs this year on Las Vegas. One I wrote was on Downtown Vegas and the other about the famous Las Vegas Strip. You can read either of those in my blog by clicking the highlighted links above. If you want superb Vegas deals I have them for you below. Take it from me, I love Vegas so I love these deals!

Cheap Flights to Las Vegas from $67 on Expedia!

Book a Las Vegas Package with Expedia.ca and Save up to 40% on Your Stay!

Now I told you I would provide you with some great deals for the new year and these are a great start if you are planning a vacation. These deals won’t last forever though so take advantage of them while you can.

Now what would traveling be without traveling in comfort? When you do hit the blue highway you may want take one of the most frequently sold items for travel that is out there. You may be wondering what that is? Well it’s the travel pillow. Below you can find some amazing deals on travel pillows!

Also if you are traveling you may want some earphones for the flight. I know when I travel I always use my Beats by Dre headphones but at the end of the day any noise cancelling headphones work for those loud flights.

Now that you have a few destinations and some great travel deals, not to mention some awesome accessories you are going to wanna get going. Hurry up and book that trip before these deals are gone.

Feel free to like and share this post on your social media platforms. Also like my Facebook page to see more travel deals and to read the journey myself and my family take across the world. Last but not least sign up for my newsletter which you will be updated with travel deals regularly! Cheers!

I Dreamed of Another World


A last glance at the Laguna Colorada in the early morning: this shallow salty lake has regained its serenity and lost its intense red color, but still offers striking reflections. We head toward the desert of Siloli in Southwestern Bolivia, a desert dominated by magnificent ocher colors and surrealist landscape. The Siloli desert features unusual natural sculptures. The most stunning rock formation is the must see Arbol del Piedra known as the stone tree. A fragile-looking geomorphological rock formation, it is an impressive 16 feet high. It marks the entrance to the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve established in 1953 in Sur Lipez Province in the far Southwestern region of Bolivia. From there we begin our journey along the “Ruta de Las Joyas,” crossing successively several lagoons: Honda, Chiar Kota, Hedionda, and Cañapa.

Starbucks

In a landscape surrounded by volcanoes in the distance, Laguna Honda, whose name means “deep lake”, is in fact only 2 inches deep. But this shallow lagoon is particularly calm, and the bright blue sky is reflected in this true natural mirror. Laguna Cañapa is an endorheic salt lake with a surface area of 1.4 km2 is also surrounded by volcanoes and home to significant wildlife such as flamingos. It is a breathtaking sight, especially when the colonies of pink flamingos take flight… Two flamingos (speaking Walloon together), dress in pink, gently shake a leg and hobble in steps hushed by the water of the lagoon. They peck at salt larva, then evaporate in a few strokes of feathers… magical!

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Following the Las Joyas road, we reach the Salar de Chiguana (415 km2), at over 11,810 feet above sea level. The railway line connecting Uyuni to the Chilean coast crosses the Salar de Chiguana. After the War of the Pacific in 1884 with Chile, Bolivia lost the Atacama Desert, thereby becoming a landlocked country. Under the peace treaty of 1904, Chile guaranteed freedom of transit for Bolivian commerce to the ports of Angofasta and built the Arica-La Paz Railroad, connecting the Bolivian capital to the coast. In the Salar de Chiguana there are small boron mineral deposits that were mined in the early 1990s and exported to Europe. This amazing landscape of salt stretches endlessly to the horizon with the giant volcano Ollagüe looming in the background. The volcano is situated at the border between Chile and Bolivia (height 19,252 feet). It is one of the most active volcanoes in the entire Cordillera Occidental. Although the landscape recalls the Southwestern of the United States, the Salar de Chiguana has a strange omnipresent succulent, the Yareta, which resembles moss stuck on large stones. In fact, the plant is as hard as a rock and grows concentrically extremely slowly for centuries. Locals in remote villages of the Altiplano used this succulent, full of resin, to heat their homes.

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Turning to the villages, we arrive at San Juan Rosarion, usually called San Juan, a tiny place, but a semblance of a return to civilization where travelers can spend the night in hotels or, more commonly, shelters built entirely of salt. Walls are made of salt bricks as are tables, chairs, and beds. The floors are grains of salt.

Virgin Atlantic

Up very early for another highlight of the trip: the sunrise over the Salar de Uyuni. The “White Ténéré” at 4,086 square miles is the world’s largest salt flat and lies near the crest of the Andes at 11,995 feet. “I dreamed of another world / Who remain a mystery / A landless mundane / Yes, I wanted to jump into the air” (Free translation of the lyrics by the French singer Téléphone – Je rêvais d’un autre monde). All limits fall away in this other world of extreme climatic conditions. It is a timeless and spaceless journey to discover the Salar de Uyuni. As Alphonse Lamartine wrote, “O time Suspend your flight, and you, propitious hours, suspend your course: Let us savor the fleeting delights / The most beautiful today!” The desert plains, desperately flat and blindingly white, stretches out as far as our eyes can see. The Salar de Uyuni is a unique show, a landscape both lunar and solar, cold and sparkling. Only passengers on the space shuttles can see the whole desert.

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This natural marvel of the end of the world is, like Titicaca, one of the remains of a vast inland sea that stretched between two mountain ranges and then evaporated. A brief geological history of the Salar tells us that tens of thousand years ago Lake Minchin covered the area. Instead, now we have a desert of salt composed of billions of salt crystals. But there is another version of the story, a charming local legend about the formation of the Salar de Uyuni is linked to the dormant Tunupa Volcano on the Northern side of the Salar de Uyuni rising to 17,457 feet above sea level. Legend says that the Altiplano’s volcanoes could speak and move. Only Tunupa was female. One day Tunupa became pregnant, but the child’s father was unknown. Male volcanoes talked all night and took the decision to remove the small volcano from his mother. This decision infuriated the gods, and they withdrew the right to move, talk and meet from the volcanoes. Tunupa volcano wept so much that her tears mixed with her milk spread on the dry ground; thus was born the Salar de Uyuni.

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Amid this white area stands the Isla Incahuasi Quechua “the Inca house.” It is also called “Isla de los Pescadores” in reference to the neighboring island “Isla del Pescado” featuring giant cacti on an area of 61 acres and forming a hilly and rocky projection in the middle of the Salar – salt flat. There are walking trails allowing tourists to hike easily to the summit for a superb view of the vast white Salar with Tunapa in the distance. In addition to cactus in bloom, the island is also inhabited by the Bolivian vizcacha, Andean rabbits of the Chinchillidae family.


The Salar is composed of 10,000 billion tons of salt of which more than 25,000 tons are extracted annually. It is also rich in minerals, and its crust covers a pool of brine, exceptionally rich in lithium, an estimated 140 million tons and a large part of the world’s reserve. The depth of this salt flat is 460 feet. It consists of 11 distinct layers of salt whose thicknesses varies between 2 and 10 meters. To be in the middle of the Salar is like being in the midst of an infinite mirror; visual perceptions will surprise you. Fresh and salt water rivers underlie the surface of the Salar. This water, which passes under the salt crust, carries with it air that will find a way out. Ojos de Agua are round holes forming small eyes in the heart of the Salar where air and water well up from under the salt crust.

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The train graveyard, the “cimenterio de los trenes”, Uyuni, is the last stop on this Bolivian journey. It is located 2 miles outside the city of Ulyni. A legacy of the age of steam, dozens of old steam locomotives from the early years of the last century peacefully end their lives in the middle of the Salar. From the late 19th century to Mid-twenty century, Bolivia knew a golden age as a result of silver mining. When the silver era dried up, there was no need for a train network. Uyuni, in Southwestern Bolivia, was a transportation hub for trains carrying silver and other minerals from the surrounding mines to the Pacific Ocean. Another early departure at dawn to enjoy a Bolivian landscape like no other !
Hasta pronto

This blog post was written for www.middleclasstraveler.com by http://www.c-ludik.fr/en/

Liebster Award 2016


Today I received a Facebook message from the travel blogger Mike Still at www.livetravelteach.com and he notified me that he has nominated me for the Liebster Award 2016! So what is the Liebster Award 2016 you may ask? Well, the Liebster award is an online award that is given to bloggers from other bloggers! The 2016 Liebster Award also only exists on the internet and by accepting this award I am required to nominate 5 other bloggers!

1. What was the first time you remember traveling and what made it memorable?

The first time I can remember travelling was when I was about 4 or 5 years old. We travelled to Orlando, Florida and went to Disney! I still have the little mouse hat around here somewhere, lol. As if Disney wasn’t memorable enough with the small world after all ride, the most memorable part of that trip was how my parents were able to delay the plane because my sister forgot her stuffed animal at the hotel. Could you imagine today? They would never delay a plane for something like that.

2. If you could travel with any celebrity as your travel partner who would it be and where would you go?

Which celebrity would I travel with and where would I go is a tough question to answer. I guess if I had to pick one celebrity it would have to be Dave Chapelle because he is the funniest person in the world in my books. So its just me and Chapelle travelling, where would we go? I’d have to say to Australia and thats because I want to go to Australia and to have Chapelle telling me jokes for the whole 30 hour plane ride would be the best.

3. What is one place that you could travel to over and over again?

Canada! I live here and the country is so large. I really recommend everyone to come and check it out. I do want to travel the world and have been to so many places more than once but every time I go somewhere there is no feeling like stepping back on Canadian Soil. It truly is the best country in the world.

4. If you suddenly got an unlimited travel budget but could only go to 1 destination, where would you go?

This is a tough question and their really is two places I’d love to go but since I’m going with Chapelle to Australia, right, I would have to say Russia. I’d love to check out Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Both destinations are really expensive to travel to so either one really.

5. What is your favorite travel memory?

I have some pretty good memories about travelling the world. If I wasn’t so young when I went to East Germany I would say that would be the best but I’d have to say my honeymoon in France. I didn’t necessarily like France so much but it was my honeymoon so cheers to that!

6. Do you prefer solo travel, group travel or traveling with a buddy?

I love travelling with my significant other. We both love traveling so its fun. I have only really travelled once alone and it was to Germany and it was kinda boring.

7. Where are you headed next and what are you most excited about going there?

Whoot Whoot we are going to Horseshoe Valley Resort in Barrie, Ontario to go skiing and have some fun over New Years!

8. Have you ever lived in a different country? If yes, where, what was the best part of it and would you do it again? If no, is there a reason you haven’t or a place that you want to live in?

I have never lived in another country and its very odd because I started my career right out of school and never had time to move. If I did move I have always wanted to move to California. The weather is perfect and I have family that lives on the golden coast!

9. What is your favorite way to pass the time on long buses, planes & trains?

Watch movies. I remember flying from Frankfurt to Toronto and watching The Hangover for the first time, maybe it was the wine but I laughed so hard that it made the flight one of the best I ever taken.

10. Do you have any travel horror stories? What happened?

Yes! I once booked a trip online piecemeal and we booked our hotel through hotwire and when we arrived to our hotel in Valencia, California the hotel didn’t have record of our reservations. It took 3 days to get it all sorted out but that was a complete stress that was uncalled for. They also never apologized and we almost got stuck with the bill twice. It wasn’t cool. I never booked a hotel through them again and will never do so.

11. Do you have any special travel routine for before, after or during a trip? If so, what is it?

Nah! Just pack the night before and getup and to the airport early. I like to get there early for some strange reason. I love the airport!

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I am now suppose to nominate 5 blogs for this award and the 5 I have chosen are:

  1. http://www.raleightraveler.com
  2. www.youngbrokeandwandering.wordpress.com
  3. www.traveldefinition.com
  4. http://lifeuntraveled.com
  5. http://www.snorkelstosnow.com

These 5 bloggers, if they accept, will have to nominate another 5 bloggers and answer the same questions as I had to! I was going to change the questions up a bit as my nominator did but the questions are great so I decided to keep them the same!

Top Central and Eastern Canada Cities to Visit


Have you ever wondered what is there to do in Central and Eastern Canada? Well here are the top cities to visit in Central and Eastern Canada. Personally I have visited all of these cities and this is like a combination of a wish list to do again and a things I’ve done list. I will also just put them in random order because I can’t rank them for ya!

Toronto, Ontario:

I recently visited Toronto and completely enjoy going. Seriously, you could visit Toronto like any other major Metropolitan city in North America and spend a number of days there doing a lot and not really do anything at all. Some of the good things to do all depend on what your cup of tea is. Are you a sports fan (hockey)? Hockey Hall of Fame is a good thing to see. The Leafs are sure to improve in the coming years so that may be something you want to see. Beware of the Leafs though, the tickets are expensive.


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If you are a sports person you have every major sport to chose from. You can watch the Argo’s, The Toronto FC, The Blue Jays, The Leafs and the Raptors. All major sports area represented in Toronto so it is a good city to visit if you are a sports fan.

Say you aren’t a sports fan then you still have tons to do. Toronto has a number of things to do for families and the arts community. Some things to do in Toronto may include:

Caribana – Music Festival

Casa Loma – Museum

Canada’s Wonderland – Theme Park

Medieval Times – Family Dinner Theatre

Ontario Science Centre – Family Attraction

Centre Island – Family Attraction

Like I said at the beginning, Toronto, Ontario is huge with lots to do. I do think you will enjoy the items listed above. As for other things to do their are lots!

Sudbury, Ontario:

I couldn’t write a blog about where to go in Canada without giving my home town a great big shout out on this one. Sudbury, Ontario is the Nickel Capital of the world. The city is known for mining but has so much more to offer than just that. Sudbury has hundreds of lakes and also the largest lake within a city (Ramsey Lake).


FlightHub

In Sudbury we have a very vibrant night life and tourist industry. The city is smaller so you can do a ton of stuff without having to spend a fortune and eternity on transportation! Sudbury has a ton of things to offer and for a city of approx 160,000 it has a lot of attractions for you to check out.

Science North – Family Attractions

Dynamic Earth (Big Nickel) – Family Attraction

Imax Theatre – Family Attraction

Ramsey Lake – Beach Attraction

Sudbury Kartways – Go Karts

Northern Ontario Railroad Museum – Museum

Sudbury has a lot to offer and if you come in the winter you can go skating at Queens Athletic Field or even on the Ramsey Lake skating path. Great entertainment. Sudbury also has a ton of great locally owned restaurants. Its a pleasure to visit the Capital City of Northern Ontario.

Ottawa, Ontario:

The capital city of Canada is always nice to visit. When in the nations capital it is a must do to visit the parliament buildings. These are huge and centrally located so you will not miss it.

Bier Market – Adult Fun

Rideau Canal – Family Fun

Parliament Hill – Family Fun

National Gallery of Canada – Museum

Calypso Park – Water Park

Canadian War Museum – Museum

There is so much to do in Ottawa you want a few days to see it all. The examples above are just a few things you will want to do. Ottawa is a great family destination and can be a real treat in all seasons.

Quebec City, Quebec:

When traveling to Quebec city you will notice the culture. Quebec City is one of the most European like cities outside of Europe. This city is located on the St.Lawrence River and has a ton of culture! One of the best things we did there was we took a dinner cruse on the river and it was absolutely fantastic and affordable. You will want to brush up on your French when visiting but the folks are accommodating if you don’t understand the language.

Old Quebec – Family Fun

Montmorency Falls – Family Fun

Aquarium Du Quebec – Family Fun

Chateau Frontenac – Hotel

Quebec has old European culture and is a treat to visit. You can spend some time there and fall in love. It is the best French experience you will have outside of France. The Canadian currency makes it affordable instead of travelling to Europe.

Montreal, Quebec:

Montreal, Quebec is the home of the iconic Montreal Canadians. The most storied hockey team in the NHL. If you are visiting Quebec City you would be doing an injustice not to go to Montreal atlas for a day.


FlightHub

While in Montreal there is so much to do and like Quebec City is filled with culture and friendly people. The Just For Laughs Comedy festival is in Montreal and should you like good beer and evening entertainment this city rocks!

Just For Laughs – Comedy Festival

Bell Centre – Montreal Canadians

Old Montreal – Walking

Montreal Casino – Adult Entertainment

Schwartz’s Deli – Food

One of the best things I did in Montreal was grabbing a Schwartz’s Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich. This place was awesome and had a line up! Could you imagine going to get a sandwich at a place with a lineup? So many famous people have visited this place its unbelievable. The story has it that Frank Sinatra would have his sandwich flown in privately right from this deli! Best smoked meat anywhere guaranteed!

Halifax, Nova Scotia:

If you are a Lobster lover than where else should you go but Halifax. Halifax is Lobster city in my opinion. You can’t beat the lobster that you get here. I was wondering through the Halifax airport and also noticed you can get fresh lobster there and have it wrapped and delivered with your flight for you to your destination. Where else can you get that? Awesome.

Halifax Harbour – Family Fun

Alexander Keith’s Brewery – Adult Fun

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic – Family Fun

Casino Nova Scotia – Adult Fun

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia – Museum

Halifax Public Gardens – Family Fun

Obviously there is much more to do in Halifax than just eat lobster. Halifax is the home of one of the largest harbour’s in North America and is on the Atlantic Ocean. Lots of history in Halifax so go and see the wonderful city and you will not be disapointed!

St.John’s, Newfoundland:

I recently wrote a travel blog about this destination and you can click here to read that. I will ultimately say this is an awesome place to go with tons of things to do. This city has a lot to offer and just a quick recap of the things to do if there.

Quidi Vidi Brewery – Adult Fun

Cape Spear – Family Fun

Signal Hill – Family Fun

Ice Berg Viewing – Family Fun

George Street – Adult Fun

If you want authentic St.John’s by getting Screeched in then head to George Street at night. This destination is very entertaining and a pleasure to visit. You will love your time in St. John’s Newfoundland.

This is just a short list of some of the great cities in Central and Eastern Canada. You can do so much when visiting Central and Eastern Canada and have so many options on where to go. I have noticed that with a low Canadian Dollar travelling in Canada is one of the best opportunities anyone in the world can have. Our country is safe, strong and unique to anywhere in the world.

I will definitely be posting more about Canadian travels in the future but this is a very good start if you are looking to venture to Central and Eastern Canada. Remember to Like and Share this blog to all!

 

 

 

 

Stockholm

24 Hours in Stockholm



Back in 2009 I had the opportunity to travel to Stockholm, Sweden. I travelled there from Hannover, Germany and the flight wasn’t to long minus the layover in Copenhagen. I was able to spend 24 hours in Stockholm before going to Northern Sweden for a few days. The airline we flew to go to Stockholm was Scandinavian Air lines (SAS) and it was really nice. The staff was great and people on the plane were friendly. We even had some conversations with other passengers during the flight!

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Should you want to go to Sweden I will give you some advice first hand, exchange your money and put your Euro’s away. While in Sweden my travel buddy for the trip had the unfortunate accident of paying with Euro’s instead of Kronor. At the time the Euro was very expensive and the Kronor not so much. I would have compared it to 50 Kronor was like $5 Canadian in purchasing power. Nonetheless do this because my buddy paid 500 Euro’s for a steak instead of 500 Kronor and didn’t realize until getting back to the hotel. 
FlightHub

Now what to do in Stockholm? This is such  a beautiful city, it really is. When I arrived in Stockholm I had no clue how nice the city was. The city of Stockholm is rich with history and you are going to want to take advantage of some of the things to see while there.

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When I was in Stockholm I never used a vehicle and it is a very walkable city. You are actually going to want to walk and see all the unique architecture compared to North American cities. You will also love the stone roads and sidewalks, such a work of history.

Nobel MuseumWhen there you will want to check out the Nobel Museum. This is the museum where that they have dedicated to all the Nobel prize winners. You can find out more about this historic tour at their website by clicking here.

Now that you have done that you will want to check out The National Museum. This museum is located on the peninsula in Stockholm. This is in the middle of Stockholm so no need to worry, you will not miss it. The Museum displays art exhibits of the Royalty in Sweden. Before travelling to Sweden I didn’t even know they had a King, Queen or anything like that so it was a surprise to learn about the history. Again you can click here to direct you to the link of the museum.

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Another Place you will want to go to is the Rosenadler Place (Brankontoret). This are was built in 1679 and is a wonderful sight to see. In this area you will also find the tour of where the Princess of Sweden and such things like that. Really rich on history and was something worth seeing. Here in North America we don’t learn to much about the history of European countries and more specifically of Scandinavian countries so it was really nice to see.

Olof PalmeOlof Palme

One of the historical things to also see is where the murder f Sweden’s Prime Minister took place. This is right in Stockholm and they have the area marked off with a plaque and is part of the countries rich history. Prime Minister Olof Palme was murdered on February 28, 1986. This is something I also learned while I was in Sweden that I had never even heard of before going there.

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Now that you have toured a bit of Sweden’s history you will also notice the shops and markets. These are also great things to do when in Stockholm. If you are going to spend some time there you will be able to see much more but for 24 hours in Stockholm you will find that this will be satisfying.

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St.John's

Fun in St.John’s Newfoundland



In the beginning of June in 2014  we decided to take a vacation. I had won 2 passes at an auction/fundraiser to fly anywhere Porter Flies. Me and my wife decided to go and have some fun in St. John’s Newfoundland. So we flew from a warm June Sudbury, Ontario…. to a freezing cold June St.John’s Newfoundland.

We started our trip off flying out of Sudbury and our flight was as such. Sudbury to Toronto, Toronto to Ottawa, Ottawa to Halifax and Halifax to St.John’s. When we landed in St.Johns I had rented a car so we could get around. The car we ended up getting was a Ford Taurus but it was all good and surprisingly to me, who drives foreign cars, it was a really good ride.

First Day in St.John’s

We went from the airport in St.John’s to our accommodations. While on this trip we decided to stay at three B&B’s and for the last night we decided to stay at a traditional hotel. So we left the airport and headed towards the Bed and Breakfast. The first B&B we stayed at was the Banberry House within walking distance to the heart of St.John’s. This place was in a great location and we were able to walk everywhere no problem.

Banbury House Bed and BreakfastBanberry House

Our first day in St.John’s was coming to an end because of the travel time there and the time change so we decided to grab a quick meal. While we were on our way to St.John’s we decided that we would eat at one of the restaurants that was features on You Gotta Eat Here Canada. Did you know that a number of restaurants in St.John’s have been featured on the show? I had no idea but when I tried to google which one we ate at I couldn’t find it because of that.


FlightHub

Our first night in St.John’s was awesome. Our visit at the Banberry House was exceptional. This was the first time for me to stay in a bed and breakfast and it really impressed me. I was surprised about the breakfast that you get and the hosts were extremely friendly. The place was clean and cozy, all in all it was great.

Second Day in Newfoundland

Now we wake up the first day and we decide to drive up to Signal Hill to do some exploring of St.John’s before we head to Bay Bulls where we will be spending our second night. The view from signal hill was amazing and considering I have yet to see a iceberg on the trip I was looking forward to seeing one from there. If I could see one from the distance the trip would be a success, I never knew how close I would get to seeing one either.

Signal HillSignal HillView From Signal Hill

We made it up to Signal Hill and seen the beautiful landscape of St.John’s and the outlook over the ocean. While we were there we walked the boardwalk they have made all the way to a gully where we turned around and came back to the car.

Now we were on our way to Bay Bulls. This place wasn’t far at all from St.John’s. We took the ride up the highway and we stayed at another B&B. The bed and breakfast we stayed at was amazing. We had amazing views right from the room. While there, we were able to go on a little hike through the property and along the Ocean front. These little towns are amazing. Nothing like it anywhere and I recommend going and seeing this atleast once in your life.

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Third Day in Newfoundland

After spending a wonderful evening in Bay Bulls we woke up to a beautiful breakfast. After breakfast we had decided to go on a iceberg tour and on the tour we would see Puffins. The name of the Tour was O’Briens Puffins Whales and Iceberg Tours. This tour was amazing and if you ever want to go see icebergs or whales this is the tour for you. I totally recommend it and you need to do this if you are in the area. Even if you are just in St.John’s it is worth the short drive over to BayBulls to take this tour.

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On the tour we seen so many icebergs and got real close to them. If you like Birds we seen thousands of Puffins. Puffins live there and are a nice looking bird. On our adventure we actually seen a Puffin caught in plastic and our tour guide pulled up to the bird and actually scooped it up from the water and saved it. What a remarkable bunch at the O’Briens Tours. While on the trip they were ready to do some screeching in. If you have never heard of what it means to be screeched in then click the link here but, in general it is an initiation into the Newfoundland Culture, awesome!

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Once we finished the tour we decided to stop at a little dinner to have a quick bite to eat then headed over to Dildo, Newfoundland. The trip was about 82km West and it was a beautiful drive as the weather was crisp and clear. When we arrived in Dildo we checked in to our Bed And Breakfast for the evening. We stayed at the George House Heritage Bed and Breakfast. This place had a wonderful view of the ocean and a large frontward set up with Muskoka Chairs to watch the sunset. While here we decided to relax and enjoy the time there.

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While in Dildo we did take a drive and found a diner where I had enjoyed the Newfoundland dish Scrunchions. I found them great and would have them again if I was ever there. Something to try if you are ever in Newfoundland.

Final Day in Newfoundland

Iceberg Beer

Iceberg Beer From Quidi Vidi Brewery

We woke up early the next day and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast before we made the trek back to St.John’s. When arriving in St.Johns, since it was so early, we decided to do a couple things before we checked into our hotel. The first thing we decided to do was hit the Quidi Vidi Brewery for a tour of the Island Brewery. If you have never done this and have been in St.John’s then you have definitely missed out. Not only is this place awesome but it is the home of Iceberg Beer. Now coming from Ontario I had never heard of Iceberg Beer. Now that I have I think it just happens to be my favourite beer hands down. I actually brought some home to Ontario with me.

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Now that we finished our tour of the brewery we decided to go to where the sun reaches first upon sunrise, Cape Spear Light House. In case you didn’t know, when the sun first hits North America the first place the sun rises is at the Cape Spear Light House in St.John’s Newfoundland. I never knew this until travelling here but it was an interesting fact. The views and history that you will learn at the Light House is very knowledgeable especially about the history of our great country. You have to go there if you are ever in St.John’s, it’s a must do.

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When we travelled back from Cape Spear we decided to check into our hotel. For the last night of our trip we did decide to stay at a traditional hotel. We stayed at the Sheraton Hotel on Cavendish Square. The hotel was very nice and refreshing as we had stayed at B&B’s the entire trip so far. In our hotel we stayed in a Signature Club room which gave us the luxury of having some drinks and food for free.

St.John'sThe Gypsy Tea Room

After we checked into our room we decided to go out for dinner. For our last dinner in St.John’s we decided to eat at The Gypsy Tea Room. This restaurant is top notch with a combination of excellent food in a relaxing atmosphere it was nothing short of a beauty and a great way to end the trip. After we had our final meal we did go down to George Street and hit a little bar so we could have a few drinks. While we were there I did do my shot of screech and loved it.

The one great thing I found in St.John’s was how friendly everyone was. When walking down the street and wanting to cross, the cars would just stop and let you go. That was something I found very remarkable, especially coming from Ontario.

Our flight home had a little snag because of an inflight emergency on another plane and our connection was delayed in Halifax so we spent the afternoon in the airport and by the time we got to Toronto we missed our final flight home to Sudbury. Porter airlines was very accommodating and gave us a room at the Fairmont Royal York. We caught our flight home the next morning and all was good!

These are definite must do’s for anyone who plans to vacation on the East Coast of Canada!

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Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas!

Beach at AtlantisWe decided to hit the March Break in a hot destination. We had decided to go to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas! The Bahamas was a beautiful place to go and from start to finish the trip was breath taking. My family will return because the service was awesome and the people were amazing.

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When we decided to go to The Atlantis resort we had looked on-line at a number of other ones but decided on this because of its warm weather, stability and lets face it price. We looked at Turks and Caicos but at this time it wasn’t feasible. To start the journey we were going to book directly through the resort but because the price was in American money and with the exchange rate at the time it made it a lot more expensive. We decided to use West Jet Vacations and called them directly and the price was the same minus the exchange so we saved approximately 20%-30% at that point because of the dollar.

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We booked our vacation flying out of Toronto so we decided to book a room at the Sheridan Airport at Pearson International. The hotel is phenomenal and we had a club room so on our floor we had a club suite where you can eat and drink for free. As we know nothing is free and this is an upgrade, but well worth it.


Now we flew out of the West Jet Terminal as I would call it because it was expanded and renovated and is a very nice place to be in. Our flight was awesome and it was the first time I had been on a plane that provided wifi. The wife was at a cost but it is well worth it as you can access Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so all the social media networks I use.

Landing in the Bahamas was really no problem at all as our luggage didn’t take long to get at all and we had a bus waiting outside to bring us to our destination, The Atlantis Resort! Now on the way to the resort we had to stop at a few other Atlantis resorts to drop off some of our other guests. We had stayed at the Beach Tower in the resort and it is a little walk from the centre of the resort but it is nothing to sneeze at as it has all the amenities that you will need steps from the elevator.

When we booked our trip we purchased a meal plan and that is something you will want to do. The plan seemed expensive at the time but was well worth it. Our plan included Dinner and Breakfast. For our plan we couldn’t eat at all the restaurants but to be honest for a family trip it was perfect and we didn’t miss out on anything. When it was lunch time we decided to hit the little promenade where the shops were and some more restaurants.

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When we were there the one thing that was disappointing is that some of the activities we wanted to do were already sold out. So I recommend if you want to swim with dolphins or sharks that you book these prior to. The one we really wanted to bring our kid to was the Sea Squirts but unfortunately did get the opportunity.

While we were there we had gone snorkelling in a separate area where ocean water flows in. We had rented some snorkelling stuff for me and my kid and we hit the water to swim with some tropical fish. This was awesome and something Ive always wanted to do. I brought my GoPro with me so it was great and I was able to video snorkelling with the fishes which was cool!

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During the trip one of the most things I was impressed with was the beach. People go to the Bahamas to see the beached and this beach was very nice. The sand was awesome and the water for the most part was calm and very nice. A funny thing had happened on the last day we were there and I was in the water it was a little rough. The water knocked me down and pulled me out a bit so I was trying to swim back to shore ( 15 feet or so ) and then it pushed me back to shore. When I hit the beach my bathing suit got knocked down a bit, someone got a show. Funny stuff because I had recently lost a bit of weight so my suit was a little big. Tie that sucker up I say.

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Now when we were there we didn’t just sit on the beach! Why would you? This resort has a water park for the young kids and my kid loved it! He spent a lot of time running up and down the play structure. Something like if you have been to Great Wolf Lodge is what they had for kids. Giant splash pad and mini pool about 2 feet deep, if that. So he loved it and for us we took turns going over to the adult or older person slides and we were able to do that.

When using the water slides the wait times weren’t bad at all, despite the 30 + degree temperature while we were there. I had gone down a water slide that went through a tank of sharks, so that was cool. It wasn’t all waterslides though because they also have a lazy river. The river was cool for the little guy as well as he rode on a tube with either me or his mom and we relaxed with a drink and floated around the Beach Tower Resort.

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DCIM100GOPROThe Atlantis also has an amazing tube river for adults. It isn’t a rough river and you will be able to go through no problem. We were going to bring our child on it because it isn’t bad and they wouldn’t let us so I would recommend not showing your kids that part if they are younger. The river was located right close to the children area though so be sneaky! lol.

Our final adventure at the Atlantis Resort was the Casino I guess. The casino is not that big and at night it is busy. They have slots, blackjack, caribbean stud and I think i seen roulette. The limits weren’t that high so it was affordable but it was busy. It also seems like they just opened up table games at night so thats good because you won’t get stuck inside while missing the adventures outside. Maybe it would be different if it was raining but it was sunny and beautiful for the 5 days we were their.

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At the time of booking the trip we opted for the bus shuttle and I recommend reserving your spot the day before you leave for the day that you are leaving. We did it the morning of and it seemed to be a little bit of a panic, maybe it was just me. The bus takes you from The Atlantis Paradise Island back to the Airport.

Our time in the Bahamas was amazing and for a first time traveller to the Bahamas and to the Atlantis Resort I would definitely recommend bringing your family there.  I did notice families there with teenage kids so the resort is very accommodating for families all ages! The Atlantis Resort was amazing and is a definite destination you will want to bring your family too. The Atlantis Resort was amazing and I say you should go!

 

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Top things to do in Paris


While vacationing in Paris, France we used a handbook that had the Top things to do in Paris and it was really helpful. In this blog post I am going to break it down and give you my lis to what to do when in Paris, France.

Me and my wife spent a week vacationing in Paris on our honeymoon and you can read about that here. So being there for a week we had ample time to visit the entire city and do almost everything there was to do for travellers. The list below is the top things we had done.

  1. The Eiffel Tower
    View of Eiffel Tower in Paris

    View of Eiffel Tower

    The Eiffel Tower has superb views of Paris and is the main tourist attraction in the city hands down. The restaurant is amazing and the food was quite good. The one thing for us is we were told at the Eiffel Tower to make Reservations from the concierge at the hotel and when we did that the hotel said they couldn’t. So my advise is brush up on your French because they aren’t to accommodating in that aspect.

  2. Arc De Triomphe
    Arc De Triomphe

    View From Arc De Triomphe

    The Arc Se Triomphe is an amazing sight to see. The marvel of the architecture and the engravings of the soldiers names on the monument is a real treat for historians who like that sort of thing. When visiting the Arc it is definitely recommended to spend the extra couple Euros to walk to the top as the views are breath taking.

  3. The Louvre
    Louvre - Top Things to do in Paris

    The Louvre

    Talk about the museum of all museums. In Paris you cannot visit without going here. The Louvre has so much history and is rich with paintings and statues that even if your not into that sort of thing you will love the history of it.

  4. Notre Dame Cathedral
    Notre Dame Cathedral

    Notre Dame Cathedral


    This is the holy grail of all churches out side of the vatican, so I’ve been told. So if you are a Catholic it would be a real treat to go see this place. The architecture and chills you get when you walk in the door is pretty unbelievable. When we went there just happened to be a mass going on and it was a true blessing to see.

  5. Paris Sewer Museum  – What would a trip to Paris be without checking out the Paris sewer museum. This was a pretty good experience to see how the old city ran the sewage through the city. I have no idea why we went in this but I’m glad we did. One thing I recommend is not to wear sandals though. That was kind of gross.

 

So this is a list of things that are must do’s for Paris. If you ask me you could probably do all of these things in a day or day and a half. If you do get the chance to go to Paris there is a ton of other stuff to do but this will be a good start. Don’t forget to check out all the shops and what the city has to offer.

Also these attractions are all walking distance from each other so I would just recommend wearing a good pair of shoes!

Until next time enjoy your travels!

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